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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to host winter horticulture school beginning Feb. 22

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

3-week class will teach tree and shrub identification

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 8, 2005 -- Horticultural professionals and advanced home gardeners interested in a more comprehensive knowledge of trees and shrubs are invited to participate in GreenShare WinterSchool sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension.

This three-week class in landscape horticulture will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Feb. 22 to March 8 in Room 123 of the URI Greenhouse on the Kingston Campus. Each session runs from 5 to 7 p.m.

"The ability to identify plant materials is an essential skill for anyone working in the green industry or for any avid gardener. A thorough knowledge of woody plants will give you a competitive edge and enhance your business image and improve your horticultural skills,” said Marion Gold, director of the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center.

In the five-session, hands-on course, participants will learn to identify over 130 shrubs and trees, including rhododendrons, shade trees, conifers, and deciduous and evergreen shrubs. The course will provide the background needed for the plant identification portion of the R.I. Certified Horticulturist exam.

The course will be taught by URI Adjunct Professor Susan Gordon, curator of the renowned Kinney Azalea Gardens. A past president of the R.I. Nursery and Landscape Association, Gordon has taught woody plant identification at URI for 12 years.

In addition, a workshop on “Emerging Issues in Tree and Shrub Management” will be held March 31 from 9 a.m. to noon at URI’s East Farm. Taught by URI faculty, industry representatives and staff of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, this half-day session will present the latest science-based information on managing trees and shrubs in suburban and urban landscapes.

The three-week course fee is $165 for the general public and $150 for URI Master Gardeners and members of the R.I. Nursery and Landscape Association. The half-day workshop on “Emerging Issues in Tree and Shrub Management” is an additional $25.

For more information or to register for the class, call the Cooperative Extension Education Center at 401-874-2900.